Easing into reality

Greetings from the Travelogue Editorial Desk.

The trip home was smooth and Nora sent her “We’re home Mom” text to me by late yesterday afternoon. (Seriously, that’s written into our unwritten rules of working together — tell me when you get there safely. It goes both ways.)

Where’s my sock? Who cares? Nana, we’ve got pizza! Photo by Kat

I thought I’d ease you into life empty of daily travelogues with some extra photos and links to places Nora and family visited while they were away.

How does this travelogue thing work, you may wonder. Well, I’m part of a shared Google album to which Nora, Bruce, Jason and Kat upload photos daily. Nora sends me her copy in the morning, then I pick and choose the photos that best fit the narrative. Captions are all mine. Maybe I need to copyright them.


Edinburgh was basically a three-day layover. The comments that followed the posts on Facebook offered a ton of recommendations for places outside of the city, but there was only so much time and Jason was on chaperone duty until the second day. We’ll have to see what calls to Nora when next she feels drawn back to this particular part of the world. I’ll bet it won’t be Fringe Festival time, though. For a person who works in a Fortress of Solitude, the LZW horde used up a lot of her precious I’m around other people energy protection.

OK, so maybe the photos will all be of Griffin. Photo by Kat
From J and B’s Excellent adventure. Photo by j a-b
Jason’s take on the Scott Monument. photo by j a-b
I think we all need crests on our homes, don’t you? Photo by BW
Looking up. Photo by Kat
Edinburgh blooms. Photo by Kat

Balmoral Hotel
Edinburgh Castle
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Thistle Do Nicely

Co. Kerry, Ireland

The second stop was Sheen Falls in Co. Kerry, Ireland. I find themes emerge during the course of the travelogues. Some years it’s food shots, some years it’s vista shots. This year, obviously, was the pint-sized traveler. Nora and Kat sent some really great flower photos that just didn’t work for most recaps, so I’ll share a few here.

More green patchwork from the descent to Ireland. Photo by Kat
Mother, I want to go there. Please convey me. Photo by Kat
Outdoors inside. Photo by Kat
Color on a rainy day. Photo by Kat
From one of Nora’s walkabouts at Sheen Falls. Photo by Nora
Pub night. Photo by Kat.
I can sleep anywhere agree Father and Son. Photo by Nora
Flowers at Carriganass Castle. Photo by Nora
Excuse me, Grandda, but if you don’t look at me, I’ll have to hold your shirt. Photo by Kat

Sheen Falls
Carriganass Castle
Rob’s Ranch House, Killarney
Killarney National Park
Torc Waterfall
Flappers in Tulla (No website, but you can see reviews on Trip Advisor)

Co. Mayo, Ireland

The last time Nora and the Gang stayed at Ashford Castle (in 2015), the estate was in the middle of renovation. I think they got a peek at some of the new rooms while they were there. When I came home last spring with photos and delight in everything Ashford, Nora declared it was past time they went back. And as she wrote in the travelogue about their transition from Kerry to Mayo, something settled deep inside when they arrived at Ashford Castle.

Because even when I’m not there, I’m always there, I chatted with Kate Kerrigan a few days before the Tea. She lunches on the regular with my cousin Annie May Reape, a Mayo Co Councillor. I know Kate’s books because Annie May opened a book signing for her and I saw the footage on FB. When the LB UK team asked me about the right sort of gift for Nora, I told them find something special and local. They approached Kate for Co. Mayo suggestions and one of them was a shawl by Lou Brennan (seen in warm action below). But she only found out the scarf was a go when Kate ran into Lou in town and she mentioned she was making a bespoke scarf for an American writer. It’s the smallest of worlds sometimes.

Part of the editing is fact-checking if a photo doesn’t match a description. Nora wrote that the bakery in Ballinrobe was Divine but I couldn’t find a bakery with that name. Since the gang was already out and about on the next day’s adventure and it went with the copy, I let it ride. It’s actually called Devour. Also appropriate. Link below.

Kat’s men changing the tone of the photo. Photo by Nora with Kat’s phone.
Alive alive oh! Alive alive oh! C’mon — Molly Malone popped into your head immediately, right? Photo by Nora/Earworm for the rest of the day from Laura
I used this on the JD Robb instagram account. Moody birds. Photo by Kat
Wilde and Mia — the stars of the show. Photo by j a-b
This? Just my newest accessory. Oh you meant the bird, not the scarf. Photo by j a-b
From Kat’s Galway adventure.
Flowers along the Cong River. Photo by Kat
Tiny friary heading into Cong. Photo by j a-b

Ashford Castle (Click through the site to find information about dining at the Dungeon or Cullens — or the fabulous George V – as well as the Hawk Walk and other estate activities.)
The Lodge at Ashford Castle
Lou Brennan – scarf
Paint Nite:
Inishmaine Abbey
Devour Bakery
Glebe Stone Circle
Lydon’s Lodge
Killursa Church
Ross Friary
Kinlough Castle

To end this little recap, here are a variety of Griffin photos to tide you over until the next time.

Mom! You’re ruining my contemplative pose. Photo by Kat
Rain. Gravel. Some greenery. Best vacation EVER! Photo by Kat
Exhausted by the fun. Photo by Kat

And finally, here’s Griffin proving he knows who’s in charge of these travelogues.


21 thoughts on “Easing into reality”

  1. Wow! So many photos I’m going to have to take them in stages. Thanks again to Nora for taking us along, and Thank you so much to Laura for bridging the way for us to share.

    BTW, I love reading about Nora’s solitary nature. I share that characteristic!

  2. I had to laugh at the Fringe Festival comment (making notes to myself), as one of my favorite thoughts is, “It’s too peopley out there.” ?

  3. Laura, this is so wonderful thank you! My husband and we’re at Ashford a few years ago and you are right!

  4. The only thing missing was a short recording of hearing Griffin singing. She mentioned it many times. Thanks for sharing the daily blogs! Loved them all.

  5. I think the text upon returning home is the right thing to do. I do that too. Griffin and the gravel is my favorite picture of the day. He’s so happy and very good at making me feel better.

  6. Thank you so much for all the photos….loved every day of their vacation and enjoyed today’s update especially the Griffin video…

    Glad that the gang made it back home safe and sound ❤️❤️

  7. Most relaxing tour I have ever been on!

    Thank you to all involved…especially Griffin!!!

  8. The flower pictures are gorgeous. I love flowers. And the pic of Jason and Griffin sleeping on the floor was just beautiful! Thanks again for sharing your adventure with us. I’m an armchair traveller now so enjoy seeing the sights through others eyes.

  9. Great pictures!! Thanks for sharing the links!! Lots to see with them!! Griffin is just the most!! Great job Laura…

  10. Love Griffin. Love the photos. Love the travelogue. Thank you and Nora for sharing her vacation.

  11. The travelogue was a daily treat. Thank you for sharing your trip. Griffin is the best!.

  12. Those cheeks! He’s just adorable. Thanks, Laura, for the follow-up!

  13. Thanks, Laura, for all you do for our Nora. What a fabulous trip!

  14. Laura, those captions you chose to go w/the pix, are priceless. i am a real nature lover, but photos of vistas and flowers are no match to ones of Griffin.
    I am curious to know, how often Nora gets recognized when traveling., especially in Ireland. When she hands over her credit card, and people see her name, she must be asked for selfies or auto.graphs, i assume

  15. Loved your holiday. Everyone took such great pictures. It was like we were there. Thank to everyone for sharing your days with us.

  16. I’m going to miss these travelogues, and seeing that beautiful scenery.
    Thank you again for sharing the journey.
    Griffin is just the most adorable boy x

  17. Thanks for a lovely trip ! Such fun thru your eyes ! Only way I could enjoy it.Griffin is such a delight & as everyone has remarked on , a great little traveler!! The video is so cute, Laura ! Again, thank you & glad you are home safe!

  18. I’ve been reading these wonderful blog posts in the wee hours of the morning while I’m helping my daughter with her newborn twins/my grandbabies. Thanks so much for taking me on this wonderful trip. Griffin is such cutie, and now I’ve added the Hawk Walk to things I must do.

Comments are closed.